Silvana Costa has always been driven by the belief that “a handmade, statement piece of jewelry can totally transform your outfit.”
After growing up in Medford, MA, the first-generation Italian opened in 2012 “Wicked Peacock,” a website that showcases and sells accessories made by Boston-based as well as other fashion and jewelry designers.Silvana was originally a jewelry designer herself. “I used to go to antique stores and buy vintage pieces, and then remake them into something completely different,” she says.
“When I started my business as a designer, I went under the name of Wicked Peacock. The name was invented by accident,” she explains to us. “Once, a friend of mine asked me how it was to be back to Boston after living for a while in Maine, and I replied – it’s like a Wicked Peacock here!”
In 2011, Silvana realized that “I was not the only Wicked Peacock out there. As a designer, you meet a lot of people, and they are awesome and they make amazing things with their hands. So I decided to open a website that represents and sells other people designs.”
The website was launched a year later with the support of collaborators Marisa Camarra and Becky Brackett.
Silvana knows well that “it’s difficult for designers to make their products, and to put them on the market”, so she helps the artists featured in her website by taking care of several marketing aspects, included taking lifestyle and glamorous pictures of their creations.
“Fun, inexpensive and trendy pieces are awesome, but they’re not going to last. They’re not high quality products. You’re not going to have them in your repertoire, in your collection of things for a long time. The quality of the material used, the craftsmanship of the artist, and the tremendous amount of time spent in making the items, this is why handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces are so special, and they’re worth the price.”
Silvana’s passion for handmade and homemade things comes, as she says, from her Italian heritage. Her father Andy is originally from Imperia, Liguria, and he moved to the United States with his family when he was eleven.
“I have a strong connection to Italian food,” she says. “When I was little, in my family everything that we cooked was homemade, and the ingredients were from our garden, and this all-Italian passion for natural ingredients shaped the way I eat today.”
Besides, her sense of esthetic, while she was making jewels and now that she sources artistic talent, is strongly influenced by her trips to Italy.
“There is something special about Italy,” she says, “because beauty is in such high regard there, whether it’s art, clothing or food.”
Her favorite Italian fashion designer is Emilio Pucci, famous for his geometric prints and vibrant colors, and she also admires Italian men’s clothing, and fashion icons as Valentino and Armani.On Wicked Peacock, customers can find jewels, bags, scarves and much more, made by around twenty different artists.
“But I want to have one hundred designers at the end of the year!” Silvana says.
Among the best-seller designers, we can list C. SCOTT ORIGINAL, based in Somerville, HERON AND LAMB, UNEARTHED and MIKINORA. The latest company is run by Japanese designer Miki, who now lives in Florence, and she makes her metal pieces of jewelry by working around negative space, geometry, simplicity, balance, shape and form. We reached her in Italy, and she told Bostoniano a little about herself:
“I had started making jewelry probably around 4 to 5 years ago […] I had wanted to start making things that involved design, fashion and a craft I could really get my hands dirty with, and jewelry happened to be my answer.
“My desire to live la Dolce Vita has inspired me to begin my own business. Also, considering that in Florence there are also so many amazing artisans, metal smiths and designers, this constantly inspires me to continuously improve, learn and elevate my designs”.
Starting from April, Wicked Peacock won’t only be a website, but it will be also a store, located in Rockport.